March 20 – City Football Group (CFG) are “focused on” expanding the number of clubs they have under ownership from the their current four of Manchester City. New York City FC, Melbourne City and Yokohama F Marinos, according to chief commercial officer Tom Glick (pictured).
China has long been rumoured as the next expansion stop for the Abu Dhabi owned group that as well as owning the four club has built a growing commercial operation servicing the clubs.
CFG sold a 13% stake in the holding company to a consortium of Chinese investors for £265 million in December 2015. The sale valued the consortium at £2 billion at the time, roughly twice the amount Chinese investors were prepared to pay for Liverpool in a deal proposed last year but which Liverpool’s owners dismissed.
CMC (China Media Capital) and investment company Citic Capital are CFG’s Chinese partners and have deep access both to contacts and more money in China. But CFG is rumoured to be more interested in South American opportunities.
“The important thing for us is to add the right clubs in the right cities, in the right leagues. We are open to this.
“There are a number of leagues and countries that are quite interesting. It is certainly something we are focused on,” said Glick.
Glick was speaking at the unveiling of Nexen Tire as Manchester City’s sleeve sponsor. The first Premier League club to announce a sleeve sponsor for when Premier League shirt branding regulations are relaxed for the 2017-18 season.
Glick emphasised that CFG was still, however, paying close attention to its current clubs. “We are equally focused on making sure each of our current clubs – Manchester, New York, Melbourne, Yokohama are performing at their highest level.”
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